Clean Format in XP



Just like SPYRO i need to do a clean format as well. But when i restart my PC with the XP cd in the drive, it doesnt display a list of Boot options. Is there anyother way that i can format?


What about using a bootdisk and doing it with a DOS command = FDISK

Once your in the XP install, you can decide the type of partition you want (i.e. NTFS, FAT32, etc.)

XP is going to try and be polite during install, which means preserving other OSs, so you may not have the oppurtunity to format withthe installation CD.


Yes i tried that last time.......
but i couldnt install XP from dos
i had to goto 98 then to xp
do you know any way i could go from dos to xp?


It "should" be as easy as popping int he WIn 98 boot disk, type FDISK at the command prompt. Enable large disk support, go in and delete your partition and recreate it, makin it Active as well..

Reboot, back to the commadn prompt and format that sucker. Reboot again, and take out the 98 bootdisk and pop your XP CD in. They are bootable CDs, so it should just install.....

I am assuming you are doing a complete install of XP, not an upgrade and your BIOS supprts bootable CDs.

I am pretty sure you can install, via the bootdisk though. Although, the .exe that you call on is in /i386 and called WINNT. just move into the /i386 dir and type the winnt at the prompt - away you go


ok thanks
also arnt you supposed to format the partition after it has recreated?


If you change the partition table all info is lost, so that is what you would call a "quick format" But, any changes made to FDISK need a reboot anyways. So, after you create your partition you reboot, to make the changes permanent and then format your newly created volume.... and Away you go....


u cant install from dos
enter BIOS and boot from CDROM 1st
u can dl the 6disks from microsofts site, or search this site for xp boot disks
but i have a comp from 97 (not this 1) and it lets u boot from CDROM so it should be fine


ok thanks
ill give it a try
also i do have cd booting on
cos it detects my 98 cd
ta again


jus found this

If XP will not install from the CD or if you have a new drive with no operating system on it yet try these:

Install Windows XP from the hard drive with Windows 98 already installed:

Boot Windows 98
Insert the XP CD into your CD reader
Explore Windows XP through My Computer
Copy i386 folder to C:\
Go into C:\i386 folder and double click on winnt32.exe to launch the setup from the hard drive

Install Windows XP from DOS (ie. no OS on a new hard drive):

Boot with a Windows 98 Start Up disk
Insert the Windows 98 CD into the CD reader
Run smartdrv.exe from the Win98 directory on the windows 98 CD (file caching)
Type cd.. to back up to the root directory
Insert Windows XP CD into the CD reader
Copy the i386 folder to C:\
Go into C:\i386 folder on C: and type winnt32.exe to launch the setup from the hard drive.


If you have changed your boot device startup list, you'll need to change it back into the default of CDROM first. That was the solution that sorted out my problem. :)


Another quirk with XP is that it leaves drivvle in your master boot record.

Before any install or especially after a failed attemp use:

Format /mbr

this usually sorts it



Ok, hopefully I can clear up some of the boot/setup options of Windows XP.

The XP cd is bootable (both full and upgrade), so if it's enabled in the BIOS, you can boot from it and run setup. XP setup WILL blow away any partition that you have if you boot off of the CD. It will be polite and ask though. you get a couple of prompts to make sure that is what you want to do. you can kill a partition and format it in either NTFS or FAT32. It will put up a fuss about there being another version of windows on the same partition if you choose to try to install without formatting. That is the easiest method to run setup and format.

However, if you do have a 98 bootdisk and can't boot from the XP cd for some reason then boot to a command prompt. run smartdrv.exe (this is necessary even though setup will let you go without running it) BTW: smartdrv.exe does not come standard on a windows 98 bootdisk. somes sites off of will have it on theirs though. When you're at a command prompt, you can do a couple of things:

1. format c: /q (quick format of C:) --assuming you are in fat32

2. FDISK --> then remove the partition information (if in FAT32 or NTFS)

3. Run a Debug script (Q106419 on -- this will write all zeros to the drive. (I prefer this method, but be careful)

Once the partition is gone and you have rebooted and ran smartdrv.exe again, you can go to the CD-ROM to the \I386 directory and type "WinNT.exe" -- this will start the XP setup from DOS.

If you want a little quicker installation and have already created a FAT32 Partition that is usable, you can type this at the c:> prompt

md I386
copy d:\i386\*.* c:\i386 (this will copy over 6000 files for the xp setup to your hard drive)
then type "winnt.exe" from the i386 directory on your Hard Drive and have XP setup convert the drive to NTFS during Setup.

Then of course you can install windows 98 on a formatted FAT32 drive and run WINNT32.EXE from the cd or just let the autorun pick it up and run setup from there.

I hope that in my rambling, i've cleared some things up. If I haven't, i'm sure I can. good luck.


Lets see if we can condense this even more for the newbies:

1. Get a 98 boot disk, boot from it with or without cd-rom support
2. Run fdisk and delete and recreate your partition(s) and reboot with the 98 floppy still in.
3. From the a: promt type format c: /u (this performs an unconditional format--clears the disk completely, a regular format only rewrites the MBR and sectors with data still in there-just cant access unless you use Unformat command)
4. Take floppy out of drive,put XP cd in drive,
5. Ctrl-alt-del, enter your bios setup, make your cdrom the first booting device, save setup and exit.
6. You will then boot from the cd and away you go.
7. Just to a complete install

I would say that if your computer is old enough to not have the bios capable of booting from the cd-rom then your not out of luck but more than likely your running a pretty skimpy system by XP standards.

Maybe this helps someone.

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